Design your perfect weekday
5 min read
My perfect weekday
I had a perfect day last Friday.
It started with 45' audiobook reading. I did it as soon as I wake up. I listened to audiobooks when brushing my teeth, having my breakfast, and walking to the bus stop. Before I went out for work, 45' of book reading was done.
On the bus, I usually tap the HeadSpace app icon, select a 15-minute class, and close my eyes to do a meditation. But that Friday I used the 15 minutes on the bus to write a book review note, which could be a summary of the book I just finished a few days ago. It was completed 5 minutes before my bus arrived, which provided me a few minutes to relax.
Wrote a book summary on the bus
There's a big park not far from my office, which I always walk across from the bus stop. That morning, I recorded a book review video at the park with my mobile and edited it with the template I created in the Videoleap app. It only took me 15 minutes to do the whole video-making process. 8:30, I arrived at the office, grabbed a cup of coffee, and got ready to rock the world.
Made a video book review before work
Attended two standup meetings first thing in the morning, then focused on the tasks on my Sprint board. Ran 5k with peers at lunchtime, then had a quick lunch with lots of protein. Kept working on the tasks for a while, then attended two meetings with full concentration.
Ran 5k at lunchtime with peer
At 4:30 pm, I started to review the work, and then had an ease chat with peers. 5:00 pm, took the bus to get back home. Played with my daughter for a while, then had a nice dinner. Engaged with my family, did some reading in the evening.
Played with my daughter in the evening
After working at my new role for nearly three months, I finally designed and tested the best way for me to have a perfect working day.
You don't accidentally have a perfect day. You need a goal first, and then you need to design, test, and optimize your plan for it. Most importantly, you need to go for it. Passive waiting will not lead you to a perfect day. Be proactive and be experimental.
How to design your perfect working day
How to design your perfect working day? You need a few things.
At first, you need a benchmark. Wrote a log about your ordinary working day. Record what your schedule looks like, what you did, and what was your feeling about the things you did. Wrote them down on a piece of paper. Add or remove a few things in the next following days. Then you will get a list of what you usually do in a workday, which is is the benchmark of your current working day.
Then, you need to write the goals you want to achieve. Personal goals such as 'read one book each month,' or professional goals such as 'become a Scrum Master.'
After that, you can create an action list base on your goals. List all the actions you can think of to achieve your goals. For example, I have a goal of "reading 30 English non-fictional books in 2019". To achieve that goal, my action list is:
- Read 45 minutes per day (listen to Audiobooks or reading ebooks);
- Write a summary for each book I read to get a better understanding of the book;
- Make a book review video in English to share what I've learned from the book as an output of my reading;
The fourth and the most interesting step of the designing process: check your current benchmark schedule and use your imagination to add things from your action list to your schedule. The key is to do it slowly, one change at a time. Add one action, test a few days, find the right rhythm, set the pattern, and move on to add another action.
As mentioned, on my perfect day, I listened 45 minutes audiobook, wrote a book summary, and made a video book review before arriving at my office to work. I didn't have a perfect routine accidentally. I tried to listen to an audiobook on the bus, but it didn't work for me. I also tried to read a paperback book in the morning and failed too. It was like an experiment; you need to test it again and again to find your way.
Also, there're things you need to prepare to get you ready for the execution. For example, I found that if I go to bed after 11:30, the next morning will be ruined. To get myself ready for a perfect day, I need to go to bed around 11:00 pm. Test the action, write the result down, and review the result, then do it again.
Define your perfect day by effort, not by the result
Five years ago, my perfect workday was totally different from the current stage. Of course, it was different: I lived in a different country, did a different job, spoke a different language, and I wasn't a dad of a litter girl at that time. When the environment, workspace, or personal goals change, you should change your strategy to designing an updated perfect workday. Iteration is the key. Keep your ideal perfect align to your value, objective, and goals.
By the way, what is perfect? For me, perfect doesn't mean mistake-free. I allow myself to make mistakes, as long as I learn from it and will to it better next time, that's fine. A perfect day doesn't mean I get the best result too. I'd like to regard a day perfect for I push myself to the limit, and did the hardest effort. I can't control the result, but I can control my effort.
Thanks for reading. And what your perfect workday will be like?
Did you find this article valuable?
Support Bear Liu by becoming a sponsor. Any amount is appreciated!